Rob Gilroy

Where’s my Easter specials?

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Here’s a thing – at Christmas you talk about festive comedies and family traditions.

At Halloween you look at horror comedy it all the shades of maroon – and on Bonfire Night you sod the writing and stand outside looking at forty quid’s worth of fireworks going up in smoke.

What the hell do you write about at Easter?

We don’t really get Easter specials, do we? Hour long instalments of our favourite sitcoms, in which those much-loved characters are broken and redeemed one final time; all set against the back drop of sinister egg-laying bunnies and traditional Easter pop songs like ‘Do They Know He’s Risen?’ and ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Judas’.

This lack of tradition really scuppers my column this week. What possible angle can I take? If I really wanted to do Easter justice; I would have stopped writing columns for forty days and nights, then climaxed on Sunday with a splurge of opinions and half-baked ideas.

I could talk about the big man himself – the Easter Bunny; but what new can be said about an anthropomorphised rabbit covering the Milk Tray Man’s annual leave? It’s difficult to take an ironic look at something that makes precious little sense in the first place. I can only assume the idea was created by Pets at Home to sell off surplus stock; much like the Dog’s Trust did with Christmas.

Still, there’s no fat man in rouge, or speeding trucks bedecked in lights ushering in the holiday from a company widely acknowledged as guilty of child labour and unsafe working conditions. Shame really.

Even this lowly column isn’t a celebration of the season and its rich comedy roots; instead it’s an arch, meta-column more interested in the creative constraints of the holiday, than the holiday itself. Much like the disciples visiting the tomb on Sunday; it’s inward looking – finding nothing.

So how can we address this? How can we make this religious event more consumer-friendly? Sure the chocolate companies have tried – but with Christmas and Halloween also covered, soon they’ll be doing a Tesco and positioning themselves out of the market. Who knows, maybe one day Easter will be known as the potato holiday, or the swizz cheese season, perhaps even the tampon tradition.

It certainly gives pause for thought. Obviously we can’t overlook the religious foundations – the last supper, the betrayal, the crucifixion. In many ways a religious stag do; in which a group of mates have a top night, which ends in trouble with the authorities and one of the members being strapped to a lamppost.

Yet in this highly PC time, can we dare to be as overtly Christian, or should we look to find a less subjective interpretation? What would the Buddhists make of this? Or the atheists? Or the Welsh? How can we make Easter appropriate for all ages, creeds and sexualities?

I know what you’re thinking – a foam party. Celebrating this momentous season the only way we know how – by lathering up in a nightclub. Could we rename it Easter Suddy? Possibly.

It’s one of the increasing problems about the Easter brand – no one knows what it means any more. Greetings card companies flit between rabbits, chicks, lambs and Jesus Christ our Saviour; what happened to Purple Ronnie or those Claymation vegetables?

It would seem Easter is having an image crisis and we’re all suffering as a result. If Easter had half the self-confidence of Christmas, this column would have written itself. Instead it’s dragged on, like the many days of lent, inexorably heading towards a finish line that is both vague and anticlimactic.

Happy Easter.